We all get there…eventually. Or should I say that most of us do? You know. That time in life where we’ve accomplished everything on our goal list, and get to the ‘have kids’ line. Yeah, some of wind up with the little bundle of joys via the surprise! route, but either way you look at it, one day we go from being just a couple to a family. We’re parents. Yikes! Thinking about it is a whole lot different from the reality of it, isn’t it? Those sweet-faced babies in all the parenting books we read to help us prepare for the blessed event… That’s right. The authors weren’t joking when they said these little
monsters sweethearts will change your lives. Saying you won’t get much sleep for the first few months doesn’t come close to preparing you for life in Zombieland.
Start out how you mean to continue…
In the beginning, if everything is okay with Johnny or Susie, set up regular date nights as soon as you feel comfortable. Most kids have at least one set of grandparents, along with a host of doting aunts and uncles, who are chomping at the bit to do a little spoiling. No, they aren’t you, but they’re likely just as capable as you are to
misplace watch them for a couple of hours. (sorry, bad joke)
So get out of the house, even if it’s just to park around the corner – cell phones at the ready on the dash – and reconnect a a little. Remember, deciding to have a baby didn’t mean you had to make a choice. Parents or a couple. You can be both. Honest.
Softball, and football, and ballet, oh my!
Yup. Johnny and Susie are going to grow like weeds. You’re going to be
conned asked to volunteer for every sport and event under the sun. You’re going to add ‘chauffeur’ to your resume. And you’ll log in enough hours to get the license – many times over. Your house will likely be overrun with creatures from an alien land. Creatures who blast horrible, frightening noise from your stereo speakers, loud enough to be heard on the moon.
In some ways, it can be easier to find time to invest in your relationship with your mate. In other ways, it’s going to be more difficult. Because your offspring will require more sophisticated activities to entertain them. And oftentimes those activities come with fairly steep dollar signs attached to them, which can mean more time on the job for you.
Set some boundaries early on. Yes, of course you love your kids, but make sure your Romeo or Juliet knows they mean at least that much to you, too. Figure out ways to spend quality time together. Don’t neglect simple touches, hand holding, snuggling on the sofa during your favorite television show, or quick kisses in passing.
Someday these little ankle biters are going to be all grown up, and setting off to conquer the world. If you don’t invest the time in your relationship, and take time to grow together as a couple, you may wind up as nothing more than two strangers – with nothing in common anymore- except the fact that you share the same living space.
Yes, you want to make sure you don’t lose your identity as a couple, but remember the words of this song. Enjoy the kids, too. Time passes far too quickly. but if you do it right, you can have the best of all worlds.
A couple more thoughts on this subject…
When you become parents, life as you know it is over. Wrap your mind around that now, get used to it, and work on that bond with your mate. Sometimes it will feel like it’s you against them. Couple power!
You might want to choose your together time a little more judiciously than this…
***Photo credit: Amber West
See you next week for a new tip.
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If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for. Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention. Just remember, you will need to exercise some patience, and be consistent. Anything worth having usually requires effort.
When my ex and I were young we went out monthly for a night away from our kkids, altho we didn’t have a vacation without them for years and years. I find it funny that I’m not the babysitter so my daughter and her hubby can have date nights. and yes, I’m happy to help out.
Sounds like things started off on the right track, but you’ve shared enough that it sounds like date nights would never have been enough to salvage things. 🙁
Great post Kristy! I totally agree with you on this one. A couple needs to make time for each other throughout the parenting process or they will end up looking at each other later when the kids leave wondering who that other person is. Do I know you? And sadly, that’s when so many marriages fail. You’ve got to put in the time and effort towards the relationship. 🙂
Thanks, Karen. It’s too bad more people don’t realize this, because it’s too easy to lose sight of who you are (not just as a couple either) when you become a parent.